Handbrake, a nifty video ripping program that has always been amazing, just released a new build- 0.94. This new version has all kinds of great new features, and claims faster encodes. You can even preview your rips before you take the time to rip them.
Sounds like a lot of great improvements, and I was very happy to see them. But then I read this:
Constant quality encoding
No more looking for the perfect bitrate for a source–HandBrake is migrating to quality-based encoding. This means that instead of telling encoders to use a specific size and vary quality to meet it, we tell the encoder to vary size to meet a given quality level. Overall quality improves, since bits are spent only when they are needed, and are saved when they are not. While this means output size is somewhat unpredictable, the results in picture quality speak for themselves.
Color me skeptical, because I had found settings that delivered great results using the variable bit rate target of 2000. I have never had great results from the constant quality settings. I understand what they are trying to do, but my results didn’t lead me in this direction.
I think it’s a bit wrong headed. If I know that my machine can only do a certain bit rate, I can set the target there, and know that it will always be able to play on the device. But with constant quality, if I set it too high it may produce a bit rate that won’t play smoothly. But I am not a programmer, and I am just thankful this program is being developed.
So, being a dutiful follower, I upgraded to version 0.94, and tried my old settings. The result was ugly, chunky, compression artifacts in the video. I then switched to the new constant quality settings (using the base Apple TV settings as a starting point- turned off animorphic resolution, large file size, and turned on deinterlace), and that got rid of the chunks, but the compression artifacts at 60% (the default) cannot be ignored when watching on my Apple TV. So I tried 100%, which resulted in a 17GB file size. Then I tried 80%, which iTunes could not open for some reason, but resulted in a 5.5GB files, more than double my normal 0.93 files.
Since then I have re installed build 0.93 and gone back to the old encode settings that worked so well for me. I have to re rip about 7 movies I tried using the new version on. I am so close to being done ripping my library, I hate to be slowed down.
Does anyone have setting that work for the new 0.94 build of handbrake? Ones that deliver great looking video (as in DVD quality look) on an Apple TV but are still playable on an iPhone? (I used to use a VBR or 2000 with an iPod atom, deinterlaced, with forced subtitles on. No animorphic resolution. I limited the width to 720, which was required for use on the iPhone.) Has anyone gotten this to work well for this application? I feel like this version has taken a step back in quality of end product.
Update: Some usable settings for 0.94.